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February 23, 2011

BassTheWorld.com interview


INTERVIEW JEFF SCHMIDT
Interview with Jeff Schmidt Conducted by Maik Reishaus for www.BassTheWorld.com


Hi Jeff. It has lately become quietly around you as a solo bassist. What do you do at the moment?

True, it has been quiet in my bass world. The last solo bass gig I played was in early 2009. It was a house concert. And while it was a good show, I remember feeling really negative about it afterwards.
I felt like I was putting way too much effort into solo bass performances, and not getting as much enjoyment back out of it. Too much effort - too little reward.

On the car ride home that night - I told my wife, I'm done. At least for now - I'm not doing any more coffee shop / house concert type gigs until I feel like I can enjoy it again. There's lots of reasons why I stopped enjoying it, so I really just needed to stop.

I continued to play bass on and off. But I totally abandoned the daily practice regimen I had going for several years. When I realized I didn't miss it, I took that as a sign that I need to give my music effort as much space as needed. I would go weeks without even touching the bass. That was totally inconceivable to me just 6 months prior.

Around that time the economy collapsed. Work colleagues were loosing their jobs and my career in radio seemed to be in very real jeopardy. So I put my
energies into finding my "next career". I began pursuing post production and sound design for visual media. I've found enough going on in creating video game music and sound design to keep me pretty busy.

I still have the radio job, but I spend almost all my non-radio time creating sound & music for video games. That was the time I used to spend practicing bass.

In May of this year, I played bass on the score for an upcoming Sony video game (can't disclose the title yet) .

I was recently hired by Devin Townsend to create 2 short fretless bass solo compositions for his new record. I think he's going to produce them with more instrumentation so they won't be "solo bass" on his record.
I've been experimenting a lot recently with solo bass ideas that are technically far simpler than my previous work. Not sure when or how it will be released. But I'm feeling the bug again. So I'm playing more, but it's all compositional, rather than the "practice" and drills like I used to do.


Nice, I really like the idea of a collaboration of Devin Townsend and Jeff Schmidt. Has he made clear guidelines to the music you had to write?

Bizarre right? I was working in the home studio one night on a sound design project for World Of Warcraft, and I noticed an email from Devin Townsend pop up on my laptop. At first I thought it was his mailing list so I kept working, but when I glanced at it again I noticed the first line seemed too personal to be a newsletter. So I opened it.
He wrote something like he was an aspiring bassist, saw my stuff online, liked it, and he was a fan. Short & simple.

Well, I was blown away. To hear from Devin Townsend personally!
So I emailed him back, gushed about how flattered I was (cuz I was) and we ended up exchanging a few emails.
He said he was working on a different approach for some new music and sent me a demo. He didn't ask - but I pulled out the fretless and played some stuff on it. Not bass lines, but more melodic flourishes. I tucked it in the background with some smokey, cloudy reverbs and sent it back. He said he liked it, and that was that. That was March 2010, I think.
Then, out of nowhere he drops me a
note in Sept asking if he could hire me to play on his new record. I was like - SURE!

He was looking for some transition pieces. So he send me a few tracks he wanted something to fit between. I listened, got a feel for the vibe and wrote 2, 1:30 pieces he could use as transitions. His only direction was "something beautiful". So it helped me focus, but also left a lot to interpretation.

I sent the pieces totally dry - no effects, assuming he'd produce them to sound like "Devin". I can't wait to hear what he's done with them.
I actually really liked the quick turnaround and the shortness of the pieces. I did it in a single evening session. Write and record.

Doing short pieces is something I've thought about doing before. But I always turned away from that because there is momentum behind the idea that "real music", "serious" music or "substantial" music is lengthy. But I now think that's a load.

There's a lot of solo bass stuff out there (including my own) that would have been perfect at 1:30 or 2 minutes, but was stretched into 4 and 5 minute long pieces. Or even longer!

These days, I'm feeling like a 2-3 minute solo bass song could be the most perfect length.

Isn ́t it more a question of compositional ideas and interpretation than a question of length?

In the abstract - certainly. Or if the point is the composition itself, rather than serving some other purpose such as supporting a dominant visual.

In realty, i hear a lot of 4 minute plus solo bass pieces, which to my ears anyway, are really 90 seconds of compositional ideas stretched out to fill 4 minutes.

As a composer and someone who has also done that, I'm compelled to wonder why.

What is it about either our internal beliefs and/or the culture at large that won't let us simply allow a solid :90 musical idea be a
:90 idea. Why the need to make it "more"?

I can only answer that for myself. In my case there's an instinct that a "song" is 3-5 minutes.

So if I have an idea that is completely stated in only 90 seconds, I sense an urge to use repeat or embellish it to make it longer.
To make it conform to a generally accepted definition of a "song". In such a case, length is not compositionally driven, but driven instead by external expectation. From the culture or the marketplace.
I'm experimenting with getting out from under that kind of thinking.
You said that you ́re creating sounds and music for video-games. Do you play yourself?

Of course! I don't think you can create great sound for games without being a player.

But I'm not what I'd call an achievement based player. Not by any stretch. In other words - I don't play games with the intent to get high scores, make leader boards, or to rack up a lot of achievements.
Most console based games can take 20- 40 hours or longer to complete. Between my radio, music, sound for games and film work, I really don't have the time to game hardcore like that. But, when I find a title that totally pulls me in and gets me addicted - I have lost entire weekends to it - for sure!

Mostly I just game to blow off steam, get engrossed in some really creative interactive storytelling, and yes - to go
nuts and blow shit up. :)

On your Sfx-homepage www.jeff- schmidt.com we can get an idea of your work. Really nice stuff! What projects have you worked on recently?

I played bass on some tracks for an upcoming Sony PlayStation 3 game - and created sound design elements for World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm and Diablo 3 - both from Blizzard Entertainment.

Where does this fascination for sounddesign come from?

Technically, I was a sound designer before I was a musician.
The first instrument I got as a child was a Panasonic Cassette Tape Player/Recorder.

My friends and I would make tapes and perform little shows. I'd record things and make weird noises. We'd mess around with pushing the buttons in halfway to record at a slower speed and
then play it back at full speed to create munchkin/chipmunk voices.
That was really my first exposure to sound art.

As a musician I also became interested in the manipulation of sound, by altering the instrument or playing through weird pedals and amps. Later - I got into radio and began experimenting with tape and then digital workstations. I love to create and manipulate sound. I was experimenting early on with building music out of radically modified samples of my bass. I still want to write and release music like that.

The problem I'm having lately is 2 fold. Fair amount of pro sound design work taking my time. Not a bad problem to have. :)

Secondly, even when I have gaps of free time - there's so many musical ideas I want to pursue I'm actually kind of paralyzed. I can't seem to pick one path and stay focused on it long enough to get anything done. I need to break through that. I think it's easier to ignore all my musical impulses when I sense theres no market/interest for it.

One of your musical projects was „Ruiner Severhead“. Very dark electronic music with loads of sounds and atmospheres. Very different from your solo-bass-songs. So Jeff Schmidt has a dark side ?

Ha! Well - the people who know me, on first hearing Outre might have said - "So, Jeff Schmidt has a bright side"?

The Ruiner Severhead project happened very organically.

I was in the middle of recording Outre and started to feel burnt out on the sounds I was using. You know -the clean, audiophile, slightly new-age solo musician sounds. Not only was I recording those sounds - but I had been listening to them for a few years straight.

I remember driving back from one of the Outre sessions at OTR Studios in Belmont CA and I had just gotten a copy of David Torn's new release – Prezens. I had grown pretty tired of Jazz at that point, but I put it on for the ride home.

I wasn't taken with it immediately - but there was something in it that touched me. It was dark and slightly mechanical. And it had elements of things being broken. Those were the opposite of what Outre was shaping up to be.

So when I got home I went through my box of old CDs and found the ultimate in dark, broken, mechanical music - Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral. Further digging revealed KMFDM, Ministry, White Zombie, more NIN. I was like - wow! this is exactly what I want to be hearing right now.

These were all my CDs - but from a time when I was not playing music. Funny - once I started playing bass again, all I wanted to hear was "players" - but when I wasn't playing any music - I had totally different taste.

So I decided I wanted to do music of my own in that "non-players" idiom.
Around that time Bassist Jay Terrien and I were toying with the idea of creating a dual bass project together called Jesus Fist.

The first step was to for each of us to write 6 songs alone to bring to the table and then write some stuff together.

I got on a roll with my 6 songs. It turned into 10 and I ended up writing an entire concept CD worth of material. I decided to release it on it's own as Ruiner Severhead - The Jesus Fist Tapes. Jay followed up a few months later with his own take called Demond Wilson - "The Jesus Fist Studies". I found the Ruiner Severhead project very liberating.

Funny you ask about that now - because just this past weekend I started remixing the Ruiner song Bound in 5.1 surround sound.

I think I'm going to release the first 6 songs of The Jesus Fist Tapes as a new EP re-mixed in surround sound.

There's so many layers in that music, it's so dense and textural that mixing it in surround really opens it up and puts in the depth and dynamics that I just could not get into a stereo mix. Not sure when I'll finish that - probably early 2011. But don't hold me to it. :)

In an earlier interview you answered on the question why you ́re playing solo bass with an deep dissatisfaction with band experiences. What happened?

Bands pursuing original music require everyone to have the same musical goal. All members need to share in the artistic vision. This is not easy. In fact, it's really hard. It's why so many bands dissolve, and why bands that can stay together and actually create amazing music are so special.

When I said I had a deep dissatisfaction with the band experience, it was that difficulty to which I was speaking. I also felt like I had more music to express than I would be able to do in a typical band environment.

The freedom of solo work allowed me to pursue exactly my own vision. I didn't need to sell my ideas to band mates, or wait till the next rehearsal to find out if the idea works, or get sidetracked by the visions of other members.

The downside to treating myself as a musical island like that however - is isolation. Having to answer every creative question for myself is actually quite time consuming. Things take longer than they might otherwise. And doesn't always produce the best result.

I think both "Outre" and "The Jesus Fist Tapes" were great exercises in working toward executing my own vision. I'm proud of both works.
But now, with a few years of distance from them, I can also hear how they might have been even better had I allowed the talents of others into my process. At the time I just wasn't in that head space. I was too busy trying to prove something to myself. I was trying to find my voice and discover my own musical language. So I had to go it alone.
These days I'm actively searching out collaboration and opportunities to work with others musically.

On your homepage and your twitter- account you are writing a lot about the music industry. What are your thoughts on the future of the industry?

OK - that's a huge issue.

Most of my writing was in response to the lament I was hearing from musicians about file sharing and piracy. What seemed to offend most musicians was the idea that music was, or should be free. And the decline in CD sales seemed to bring it all home.

As a music consumer, file sharer and musician myself, I understood and empathized with all sides. As much as anyone I hated the idea that the art I poured my time and heart into creating had almost no chance of recouping the cost of it's production - let alone fairly compensate my creative effort. Not that that is new phenomena.

But I also realized that once music went digital - there was no way to stop it from being copied endlessly for free. That the genie was never going back in the bottle. So tried to urge artists to look for new ways to create a value system around their music - beyond selling CDs. At first a lot of people couldn't imagine a music career without selling CDs.

Now, just a few years later - most indie musicians I know fully embrace and understand the digital reality. And they're working it. CDs are still part of it - but it's a much broader approach.

That said - I don't know if the digital revolution has increased or decreased the number of musicians earning a living from their music. Not sure there's any way to tell beyond anecdotally.

I do know that fans have access to more music than ever before for free. My guess is there's probably more artists making some money rather than nothing these days.

But even with all the free online tools and methods of "getting the word out" I still think it's just as tough for artists to get traction and earn a living from their art.

The amount of music available now is enormous and people's attention is finite. The noise level of self promotion is ratcheted up considerably. Cutting through that noise by getting louder won't work for indie artists because getting louder means spending loads of money on promo and marketing.

So - the big meme among independent artist is to "connect" with their audience using social media. To come down off the "artist" pedestal and mingle with the hoi polloi in the hopes the bond will make it more likely for fans to support your work and spread the word.

It depends on who is doing it - but it has sometimes appeared to me as artists seeking charity from their own fans. It kind of comes off as -hey look, we know you can get our music for free - but since you know we're cool peeps cuz we hang out on Facebook - please consider paying for it. I know this works for a some artists. I just have a slight gag reflex on it.

It's hard enough finding people that like my music. But if my livelihood depends on all those people ALSO liking ME personally? Oh boy. ;)

Ok, now we come to the inevitable bassplayer-questions. What basses do you use at the moment?

I'm still using the same basses:
-Pedulla PentaBuzz for fretless -MTD535 fretted -American Fender P 4 banger -Carvin 6 string Icon bass. All are lefty.

I'm looking for an acoustic fretless that will play and sing like my pedulla but also sound nice, open and organically sonorous.

Do you have written some material on the 6 string ?

I had a few solo pieces written for 6 string I recorded for Outre. When it came time to pick the final tracks for the album those 6 string pieces were the weakest in my opinion, and in the opinion of my producer Cookie Marenco. So I left them off. I think Outre is stronger because of it.

I still have the pre-mastered recordings on 2 inch tape!
These days I have a midi pickup installed on the 6 string and pretty much use it for composing and midi tracking rather than solo material.

You are using loads of different tunings on your basses. Do You experiment with them or do you fit them to the song?

I change the tuning of the bass to capture the vibe, or color I'm going for. These days I don't even think of other tunings as deviations FROM standard. They simply are. Kind of like getting comfortable with various time signatures. At first everything is understood by relating it TO 4/4 - but in time you're able to understand any time signature as it's own world. Same is true with different tunings.

I enjoy altered tunings because I'm almost always trying to generate interesting voicings and polyphony I can play alone without having to develop a lot of crazy playing techniques or do a lot of tapping. Altered tunings is an exceptional technique for that.

It also keeps my ears from slacking off.

I've heard people say altered tuning is a way to make your habitual patterns sound different. And of course they will sound different - mostly bad.

I'd submit that many "normal" players internalize standard tuning as a series of connected muscle memory based patterns. And once they have that down they shut their ears off and play muscle memory. With altered tunings - you really have to listen and feel all the intervals.

That might require the development new fingerings and chord shapes - but it also requires you to listen more. It's like becoming a beginner all over again.

Some people are terrified by that. And I understand the frustration - I really do. Composing this way can be really painful for me.
But that sense of "I don't know what I'm doing" can really force me into creative problem solving. And that has resulted in some of my favorite compositions.

The trick is to understand that while the intervalic relationship between the strings is altered - they are always the same ON each string - 12 fret spaces is still and octave - for example regardless if your string is tuned to E or C#.

So ultimately it's a creative tool with the goal of making music that I enjoy playing.

What FX ́s do you use in the studio and live?

I'm still using the Boss GT series (6 and 10) foot pedals for live. I've increasingly used USB out of the GT10 running into a laptop running Ableton Live - so I can add more DSP based plugin effects if needed. In studio I'm mostly recording direct through a Millennia TD-1 preamp and then doing tone shaping/processing in the box. I still have a collection of weird boutique pedals like the Metasonix Scrotum Smasher and Butt Probe that just make horrible noise. Essential for any Ruiner Severhead project.

Jeff, thanks for the interview and much success for all your projects!

Interview with Jeff Schmidt Conducted by Maik Reishaus for www.BassTheWorld.com

November 23, 2010

Nefta Lopez covers Mudtia

Cover songs. As musicians we deride them. Well, at least I do.

Until someone covers one of our own songs. Thats when cover songs magically transform and become super awesome.

Like this one!

I present to you what I believe is the first (and only) public example of another bassist covering one of my solo bass pieces - Mudita.

This blew me away.


I saw this and grinned from ear to ear. I reveled in the fact that finally, after over 3 years since it's release someone was crazy enough to tackle one of my solo tunes. I know of no other person that has done a cover of one of my solo tunes.

It's not JUST that my tunes are hard to play (they are)

It's a bunch of other factors.

Let's see - I'm playing left handed, upside down stringing, with piccolo gauge strings, 5 string bass in all kinds of F'd up tunings AND using a bunch of home-made extended playing techniques that even I can't fully explain.

Not exactly low hanging fruit for someone looking to do a cover song.

But Nefta Lopez took it on and did it on a normal righty 4 string bass - in standard tuning! Holy SHIT!

Kudos. Seriously, I can't even play my song that way!

I am humbled.

yes - comments are still broken on this site. wanna say something - email me or hit me up twitter. Or offer to fix it for free or something.

word

Here's the original:

October 20, 2010

Beautiful Bass Podcast - Steve Uccello

Beautiful Bass Podcast returns!

For one episode anyway - to feature some great new music from Bassist Steve Uccello and Australian percussionist Nat Grant - SUNG.



Beautiful Bass Podcast - Jeff Schmidt/Steve Uccello SUNG
by jeffschmidt


SUNG - Available at www.sung-duo.bandcamp.com

September 20, 2009

Melodyne beta test on my tune - FURY

Melodyne software by Celemony promises auto-tune control for polyphonic material (like solo guitar, piano, bass etc..)

I got my Beta version today - and tried it out on my solo tune - FURY.

I was blown away.

watch.

This will totally change music. In fact- someone else posted that it will create a whole new genre of music - and I agree. Simply amazing.

I'm sorry comments are totally screwed here - but feel free to shoot a comment to me on my Twitter or Facebook.

Oh - if you know someone who can help me port this totally jacked-up blog from Moveable Type to Wordpress - lemme know.

Oh yeah - I can't access the back end anymore so - it's a bit of a challenge. It might help you've got some hacking skillz. :0

Lemme know.


August 31, 2009

Outre wins Just Plain Folk Music Award


Just Plain Folk Music Organization "recognizing the other 98% of independent musicians" just announced winners and their annual Just Plain Folks Music Awards.

My solo bass album Outre won the 2009 Solo Instrumental Album award. It's not a big prize kind of award - just some recognition and for that I'm grateful. Thanks to everyone involved in my nomination and eventual award.


Unfortunately, I can't accept comments on this blog anymore because of a software password reset glitch with Moveable Type running on a Windows server. It's a long story. I'm sorry if you posted a comment and never saw it get approved. I can only post using an app like MarsEdit but can't access the admin area. It's a total cluster-fuck. It's not that I blew you off.

Well - that's not totally true - I'm sure there are a few comments in there that I would NOT have approved. :)

I do need to update this site - but I've been too busy with non-bass related stuff - including re-launching my sound design service - Alien Imaging.

Ok - that's all for now.

You can still connect via email and on twitter.

Thanks again!

March 05, 2009

Secret Evil Plan - Part Deux - Ruiner Hits The Heap

You've heard the "nice" version I did of the Imogen Heap vocals in the previous post.

Now, it's time to let Ruiner Severhead have his way with Imogen Heap's lovely vocal.

While these SoundCloud players look cool - they deliver audio with roughly the quality of MySpace.

Which is to say it blows monkey sac.

Go ahead and click the link to download it. For free. To Kids. It's a 256k mp3 and sounds fairly decent for an mp3.


4745_ATT1758197.jpg

Some production notes for the insanely curious.

The main bass line is the American P Bass running through a modified "synth" patch on the Boss GT10. It's NOT midi.

Guitar sounds are both actual guitar and piccolo bass. Although - once it hits the scrotum smasher - all that shit sounds the same anyway.

All the texture type effects were created from recording the sound of the Larkspur Ferry I ride into San Francisco every morning. I recorded "down below" near the back where engines are. I put the sound into a granular synth and tweaked.

I also changed the vocal melodically by pitch shifting various notes to support the harmonic minor flavor. Gives the track a totally different feel.

enjoy.


February 27, 2009

Secret Evil Plan - Imogen Heap remix

Short version - I remixed an Imogen Heap track and you can hear it here.

If the player doesn't work for you try this link

SEP2.jpg

Longer version.

Twitter. It's all about Twitter.

I follow a few artists I admire on Twitter. Among them is Imogen Heap.

As part of a promotion called "Twestival" to raise money to improve the quality drinking water in impoverished regions, Imogen Heap released the vocal tracks to a song that was never produced. She only had the vocal parts.

FULL DETAILS HERE

So I downloaded the tracks and built the song you hear above. You can do one also - till mid March 2009 I think.

I played / programmed / produced everything - there's bass, drums, guitars, synth, sound design. All the stuff I most enjoy doing. Playing, writing and knob-tweaking.

SEP1.jpg

Owing to nothing more (i'm sure) than the high quality vocal tracks from Imogen - this is the most commercial sounding thing I've ever produced.

Of course, I also just ADORE Imogen Heap. She writes great songs, has a gorgeous voice and is a killer producer/sound designer in her own right.

She's the real deal, and time totally vanished for me while working on this track. That's a sign I think. :)

Secret evil plan part ii has me considering doing another take on the track all together.

But then again - maybe not.

Hope you enjoy. Donate - and try your own version!

January 26, 2009

Tunes of Tapey Goodness

As I mentioned in my previous post - here's the full tunes I recorded to tape. 1 Fretted - 1 fretless.

Both demos. Both untitled. The audio for both are taken from the tape.


Jeff Schmidt Demo tune #2 fretless bass to Reel to Reel Tape from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.



Jeff Schmidt - Demo tune to Reel to Reel Tape from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.

New Video Blog - Demo ideas to Reel Reel Tape

Goin old school bitches!

Like I mentioned in my Sporadic Gig Syndrome post - I opted to flesh out some new ideas for my house concert on friday night (with Steve Lawson, Lobelia & Gustaf Fjelstrom) rather than boning up on my Outre material.

As I don't have any gigs lined up right now - I don't feel any incentive to keep working on these tunes. Just how I roll.

So I figured I'd record them as they stand now for posterity. And also to remember what the hell I played 5 months from now when I want to finish these things.

Then - it hit me. I should record them to the Fostex G16 tape machine I picked up over the summer. I had yet to use it. It would be a great test.

This vid blog documents the effort. Well - about 9 minutes of it. It actually took several hours.


Jeff Schmidt Video Blog 7 Jan 09 (Demo ideas on Reel to Reel Tape) from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.

The video only includes samples of tracking 2 tunes - but I got video on all of the complete tunes. I'll put those up in another post when I get some time to knock it out.

Video takes FOOOOOOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEEEVAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!

January 24, 2009

What's with the $85 CD?

On Dec 15th 2008 I posted this bit on Twitter -

tweetofday121508.jpg

Now, typically, that's exactly the kind of thing I'd say cuz it's funny or absurd and leave it at that. But this time - just putting the words out there made it different.

So I went to CD Baby and changed the price of my solo bass CD Outre - to $85.00.


cdbabysnap.jpg

So what happened?

I got a few e-mails from buyers and a call from CD Baby asking if it was a typo. If the real price was supposed to be $8.50.

No, I explained - the price is $85.00. To those that emailed and wanted the download version - I directed them to THIS $6.99 DRM free download of Outre. I get to keep all the money on that sale AND offer it at a lower price than on I can on CD Baby.

One copy did sell at $85.00. Thank you.

Why did I do it?

With EVERYONE talking about music being free, or close to free - I felt the need to indulge my contrarian impulse. Not only would I RAISE the price - I'd raise it absurdly. $85.00.

After I raised the price I began to think differently about music and artists pricing their works.

For example.

I occasionally go to art festivals here in the Bay Area. Every once in a while we'll see something that's truly striking. We'll look at it, marvel at how awesome it is - and then notice the price. Oh - $15,000. Oh well.

Obviously that artist carts that big ass painting or sculpture around to every art festival they can with the hope it finds the ONE person who will pay $15,000 for it.

We accept this dynamic for paintings - sculptures and other works of "fine art". But not for recorded music.

I decided to try to find the ONE person who would buy Outre for $85.00.

I did.

So now the experiment is over and the price will return to the level the "market" expects a CD to sell.

I don't have the answer to music pricing - or how to make music special in the same way that a painting or sculpture can be.

But it was fun to think about and price my album in the same way I might a sculpture or painting.


January 12, 2009

Deadly Things, Death, Bad Misspellings, Animals, Religion


What is . . . names of Metal Bands, Alex.

flow_heavymetal.jpg

So awesome.

January 04, 2009

Sporadic Gig Syndrome

Wanna see me and others play weird/strange/cool/lovely bass music LIVE?

I have a gig coming up.

No shit.

Me - Jeff "How come I never get to see him play live" Schmidt. :)

Its a house concert in the San Jose area on Jan 23rd around 7:30pm - the Nerd-Farm Solo Bass Hootenanny! where I'll be joining Steve Lawson & Lobelia and Gustaf Fjelstrom. It's a casual but cool affair.

gig_poster_800.jpg

SEATING IS LIMITED - RESERVE your seat at this website.

I haven't played a proper show in a few months. This means I've forgotten how to play many of my tunes.

It may come as a shock - but I actually don't sit around playing my own music much.

So if I'm not gigging - I'm not playing the tunes. If I'm not playing the tunes for a few months - I forget how to play them.

They are, if I do say so - pretty frakking hard for me to play. I can't just "wing it". Wish I could.

In 07 I was playing gigs with such regularity that keeping my material in shape was easy.

But last year was reeeeeeeeealy mellow on solo bass gigs for me. Mostly by choice - but still.

So now, when someone asks me if I'm into doing a solo gig - all I can think about is the time and effort needed to bone up on my own music. Add a certain amount of laziness on my part and you start getting the idea.

That's Sporadic Gig Syndrome.

You should've seen me - hitting Youtube - watching my own stupid videos trying to figure out how I played some of that stuff. I'm such a tard.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: vote for your fav in the comments!

A.) lower my standards - don't practice & wing it!

B.) gig more. duh.

C.) write simpler music I can play without much prep.

vote now.

Anyway - it seems I'm fated to create music I'll need to incessantly practice. My cross to bare. Weep for me.

My feeling right now is that I'm probably not going to play much Outre material for this engagement. We'll see.

The idea of playing some of my newest musical sketches is far more exciting than spending hours re-learing/practicing older material.

mere moments before getting assualted by a drunken baffoon women.jpg

I think I can safely say I have no "hits" that I'll need to play to "please the crowd" - so this shouldn't be a problem. :) If you plan on attending - and this is a problem - speak now cuz I'll have to work on it if you want to hear something. Otherwise I'm going rouge bitches! :)

Does anyone else have Sporadic Gig Syndrome?

Does anyone else write music they forget how to play?

Does anyone want to help me get - ya know - Frequent Gig Syndrome?

Drop a comment.


House Concerts are all the rage now cuz it's easier to put on than at a "proper" venue that often needs 200 people drinking expensive drinks in the house to make it worth their while.

If you want to put on a House Concert just drop me a note and we'll work something out.

January 03, 2009

More Cowbell - Satori Style

My Solo Bass Tune - SATORI with 50% cowbell - 95% Walken

 Make your own at MoreCowbell.dj 


January 02, 2009

Advice from Monk -Timeless & Universal

Handwritten notes documenting advice from Pianist Thelonius Monk - captured by Saxophonist Steve Lacy circa 1960.

KFOG Program Director Dave Benson, the biggest jazz fan I know, came in contact with this jem and passed it along to me. It's great stuff. As Benson said - "you just want to have it framed"!

I'll have to settle for having it "blogged".

Click on the image to see the bigger version.

monkadvicea.jpg

The most ironic bit to me - Monk saying "Don't play all those weird notes - play the melody!" Classic.

My favorite - 'Whatever you think can't be done - someone will come along and do it".

Amen to that!

The hating whitey bit at the end is a close second. ;)

December 23, 2008

I'm Bored. Are you Bored? Want to not be Bored with me?

Ahhh the holidays.

I'm without my bass in the arctic wonderland known as Upstate NY. Which pretty much looks like this in every direction.

myarctictomb.jpg

I do however have my fancy computing device which affords me the ability to mangle and mix sound. That's where YOU come in my fearless bass pioneers!

YOUR MISSION:

I want you to send me a bar or 2 of your bass playing OR other any other instrument you play.

I'll collect all the riffs I get and produce them with my laptop toys over the next week.

I'll post the results (for better or worse) on this blog and throughout the interwebs with full credits to everyone who participates.

Or - if you prefer - I'll leave your good reputable name off this auditory abortion leaving your participation totally anonymous. Your call.

For the sake of simplicity / interoperability there's only 2 rules.

Play to a click/metronome with a tempo of 110. (don't record the click track if you can help it)

Play in the key of E maj.

You can play in ANY mode of E Maj - but please confine your riffs to the key of E Maj.

Play in any time sig you want - just label what it is

Play with any effect(s) you want.

As simple or complex as you want. Doesn't matter. Don't overthink. Just hit record, play, save the file - and

SEND YOUR RIFFAGE TO ME

beautifulbass@gmail.com

mp3 is fine.

Let'r loose kids!

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